Leo P, newly discovered dwarf galaxy near our Milky Way

Leo P, newly discovered galaxy (Credit: Katherine L. Rhode et al. in The Astronomical Journal, AAS)
Leo P, newly discovered galaxy (Credit: Katherine L. Rhode et al. in The Astronomical Journal, AAS)

Main points:

Scientists have found a new dwarf galaxy, dubbed Leo P, near our Milky Way. This galaxy is present about five to six million light-years away from Milky Way.


The Astronomical Journal

Study Further:

Astronomers found this galaxy with Arecibo Observatory radio telescope in Puerto Rico and first considered it as a cloud of hydrogen gas. Later they confirmed the finding with optical telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.

Leo P is one of the lonely dwarf galaxies that are hard to be found due to their distance, faintness and presence as such galaxies can be found anywhere in the sky. This galaxy appears to be undisturbed by the gravitational pull of the nearby larger galaxies.

“It is a product of a sedate environment, away from major galaxies,” Riccardo Giovanelli of Cornell University, one of the founders of Leo P, said in a statement.

“Its properties are extreme: it is the lowest-mass system known that contains significant amounts of gas and is currently forming stars,” Researchers wrote.

The discovery of this new galaxy also points to the presence of the other galaxies.

“We have many dozens of these objects now,” Giovanelli says. “We’re going to see which we can pull out of the muck.”


Scientific American


Rhode, K., Salzer, J., Haurberg, N., Van Sistine, A., Young, M., Haynes, M., Giovanelli, R., Cannon, J., Skillman, E., McQuinn, K., & Adams, E. (2013). ALFALFA DISCOVERY OF THE NEARBY GAS-RICH DWARF GALAXY LEO P. II. OPTICAL IMAGING OBSERVATIONS The Astronomical Journal, 145 (6) DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/145/6/149

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."

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